Allah Exist without a Place

Mainstream Islam’s Refutation of Those Who Attribute A Direction to Allah

Imam bukhari (d.256) believed that Allah exists without a place. Ibn hajar repeats the belief that Allah is without a place many times. (ibn hajar, fath al-bari 13:357; Cf. 3:23, 6:102, 13:309,328,351,354,355,357,366,369-370, 414.)

Ibn jarir al-Tabari (d.311) said in his commentary on the verse “Then turned He (Thumma istawa) to the heaven” (2:29):

The meaning of istiwa in this verse is height and elevation….but if anyone claims that this means displacement for Allah, tell him, He is high and elevated over the heaven with the height of sovereignity and power, not the height of displacement and movement to and fro. (ibn jarir al-tabari, tafsir 1:192)

Imam al-ashari (d.324) said in the authentic version of his ibana: (published by dar al-ansar and edited by Fawqiyya Husayn mahmud)

Allah is established on the Throne in the sense that He said and the meaning that He wills, with an establishment that transcends touch, settlement, location, immanence, and displacement. The throne does nto carry him, rather the throne and its carriers are carried by the subtleness of His power, subdued under His grip, and He is above the throne and above everything down to the extremities of the lower earth, with an aboveness that does not make him any closer to the throne or to the heavens. Rather, He is as exalted high over the throne as He is exalted high over the lower earth, and together with this He is near every creature, and He is nearer to His servant than his jugular vein, and He is witness over everything. (al-ibana an usul al-diyana, ed. Fawqiyya Husayn Mahmud (Cairo: dar al-ansar, 1977 p.21)

Shahrastani (d.548) relates that Imam Ashari also said:

The vision of Allah does not entail direction, place, or form, or face to face encounter either by impingement of rays or by impression, all of which are impossible. (Shahrastani, al-milal wa al-nihal as translated by A.K. Kazi and J.G. Flynn, muslim sects and divisions (London: Kegan paul international, 1984 p.85)

Mulla Ali al-Qari states:

It is obligatory that you believe that your God…is not contained in any place or direction. (Sharh ayn al-ilm)
He states elsewhere:

Allah is not located in a place, whether above or below, or any other than these, and time is inapplicable to Him, unlike what the mushabbiha and mujassima and hululiyya or incarnationists believe. (sharh al-fiqh al-akbar)

He also cites al-hafiz Zayn al-din al-iraqi’s statements that all four imams agree that anyone who believes Allah lies in a specific direction has commited disbelief. (al-qari, sharh ayn al-ilm wa zayn al-hilm 1:34; sharh al-fiqh al-akbar Beirut: Dar al-kutub al-ilmiyya 1404/1984 p57; al-mirqat, cited by kawthari, maqalat p. 321,362)

Al-izz ibn abd al-salam does not declare those who attribute a direction to Allah disbelievers, but only innovators:

The correct position is that the one who holds belief in Allah’s direction is not declared a disbeliever, because the scholars of Islam did not bring such as these out of Islam, rather, they adjudicated inheritance from muslims for them, burial in muslim grouhnds, sanctity of their blood and property, and the obligation to pray over their remains. The same is true of all the upholders of innovations. (Al-izz ibn abd al-salam, fatawa p.151,153)

4 thoughts on “Allah Exist without a Place

Add yours

  1. ما شاء الله


    what a BRILLIANT article yet again, but some of the articles on the site are missing, shaykh… some of the most important ones to do with creed etc.

  2. However, it should be clarified, in my opinion, that “The same is true of all the upholders of innovations.” is not true of those innovators whose innovations are kufr, ie. shi`ah with their belief that the wahee (revelation) CONTINUES with the 12 imaams.

  3. Is it possible for Allah to be above his throne, at the same time not being in place?
    If istiwaa is taken in a literal sense then it will mean that place is fixes for ALLAH. However if someone does not deny istiwaa and does not fix it to a place then there is no problem in it.

  4. can someone say Allah is above the arsh and stop there without adding anything to it.
    Rasulullaah saalallaahu alayki wa sallam said,” greet before speech”. ASSALAAMU ALAYKUM.
    What is the verdict if someone says “ALLAH IS WITH YOU WHEREEVER YOU ARE” without adding anything to it? Is this a verse of the qur’aan or not? Whatever your answer to this will be the answer to your question.

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